"The only thing I'm addicted to is winning"~ Charlie Sheen
I don't know at what point it became in vogue to dump on the Win as a stat in baseball. It seems that wherever the Win is discussed, there's the accompanying rhetoric with someone saying that it's a useless stat for the pitcher. I'll agree that there are other things to look at to judge how effective a pitcher is, but the main objective of a pitcher is to give his team a chance to win- and if he meets certain criteria, and his team wins, then he should be rewarded. But maybe I'm just old school.
Perhaps those who argue so vehemently against the W are products of the generation in which everybody gets a trophy for participating. They would be the ones who would gladly take their six innings and collect their paycheck, with no desire to go the distance, to throw a complete game.
We rarely see a twenty game winner in the major leagues, so it's pretty amazing when you look at the back of this Victory Leaders card. Eleven- count them- 11 pitchers reached the 20 Wins plateau in 1974, and six more were only one win away. Compare that with today, where we have had only 14 in the past five years. I suspect that if you ask any pitcher who finished the season with, say, 17, 18, 19 Wins, they will tell you they would have liked to have reached the 'magic' number.
But as Bob Dylan once sang, the times they are a-changin'. I only wonder how long before we see the Wins/ League Leader cards being replaced with WAR, FIP or some other advanced metric. Until then, I guess the collector is still #Winning